‘We Had Pullmans and I Never Rode a Better Train’

The image on top of the stationery Babe used on this letter.

Dated June 1943; no postmark. It is unclear to me where this letter falls in the sequence. He references a card that he sent from Shenango, Penn., but I don’t have that. It’s possible that between his last letter on June 4 and this one that he wrote that card, but no other letters because he was on trains for a bit of the time. He may have only been at Shenango for a short time; this letter notes that he took the train from Camp Wheeler to Shenango, but that he took another train “here,” wherever “here” is. I speculated that it was Camp Shanks in New York.

Dear Ma, Pa, brothers and sister,

I don’t know how to start this letter except to tell you I am feeling fine and hope you are the same. As you can probably see by the envelope, this letter has been censored and you know what that means. I can’t even tell you what state I’m in, let alone the camp.

There is practically nothing to write about anymore now. All I can say is hello and goodbye.

Don’t try to send me any packages or anything like that because they won’t get here I don’t think. You don’t have to write to me by V-mail yet though.

I suppose you got the card I sent you from Shenango, Penn., already telling you my new address so I won’t have to tell you again.

I had a good ride from Camp Wheeler to Shenango. We had Pullmans and I never rode a better train. The first night, though, I left the windows open next to my berth and the next morning, when I woke up, I was sleeping on a bed of coal dust. From Shenango to here, we came in ordinary day coaches and we all got so dirty that two showers didn’t get me clean.

I’ll sign off now with L&K,



PDF: Censored letter; referencing trip from Shenango

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